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Former Sterling man dies fleeing burglary

OREGON – A former Sterling man on parole is dead and two other people, one also a parolee, are jailed following a residential burglary in Mount Morris early Monday morning that led to a crash in Oregon.

Joshua W. Denning, 34, of Oregon, was pronounced dead at KSB Hospital after being thrown from an SUV that crashed on state Route 64 west of Oregon, Lee County Coroner Jesse Partington said.

Denning and Jason A. Marks, 44, also of Oregon, were fleeing the scene of the burglary, police said.

According to Mount Morris Police Chief Jason White:

A man called 911 at 12:57 a.m. to report that several intruders were inside a home in the 400 block of North McKendrie Avenue in Mount Morris, threatening the occupant. The caller was not at the house.

When police arrived, three people ran out of the house. Sarah Hensley, 32, of Oregon, was arrested, while two men fled in the SUV.

An Ogle County deputy responding to the call met the SUV speeding on 64 between Mount Morris and Oregon, turned around to follow and found it crashed on Liberty Hill.

Marks, who fled on foot, was caught and taken to a Rockford hospital, where he was arrested and taken to Ogle County Jail, White said.

For now, Hensley and Marks are charged with residential burglary; more charges likely are pending.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Denning was sentenced in 2015 in Whiteside County to 3 years for burglary and for dealing marijuana. He was paroled 2 years ago, on March 17, 2017.

He also had a 2003 conviction for burglary, also in Whiteside County, and one for possession of marijuana in Bureau County. He was sentenced to 3 years for each.

Marks was paroled on Dec. 24 after being sentenced in Ogle County in 2016 to 3 years for theft and a year for domestic battery; he also still was on parole for a 10-year sentence for aggravated robbery levied in Winnebago County in 2009.

He also has four felony retail theft convictions and a conviction for aggravated battery dating back to 2004 in Winnebago and Jackson counties, a 2001 conviction for aggravated robbery out of Cook County, and his first felony conviction in Illinois, also for aggravated robbery, levied in 2000 in Ogle County.

Hensley was on probation after pleading guilty in November to theft, trespass to a home and trespass to a vehicle.

Denning, who according to his obituary was an apartment manager for Corporate Suites in Oregon, and before that worked for Knapp Flooring in Polo, is survived by, among others, a daughter, Haleigh Denning of Oregon; his parents, Linda Denning and Jack Denning; and three brothers: Brandon, Timothy and Terry Denning, all of Rock Falls.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at McDonald Funeral Home in Rock Falls, with cremation and a private family burial planned.

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